Self-guided walking

Cauterets-Gavarnie : the gem of Central Pyrenees and UNESCO World Heritage


Time: 7 days - 6 nights - 6 days of activities

Mode Self-guided

Physical level: Easy Moderate

from 460 €

Code: 18FRAL32

Travel type: Self-guided walking

Region: Central Pyrenees - France

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The Pyrenees National Park offers the walkers the possibility to cross wonderful sites and discover an exceptional natural heritage.

 

Birthplace of Pyreneism, paradise for the mountaineers and the nature lovers, Cauterets and Gavarnie will tell you the story of famous mountain guides, of high mountains and wild valleys.

 

At the beginning of your stay you will discover two magnificent valleys: the Gaube Valley and the impressive North Face of Vignemale and the Marcadau Valley with its high mountain lakes. Then, after having reached the valley of Luz in "Pays Toy", the Cirque of Estaubé and Gavarnie will offer to the hiker eager for sensations, grandiose panoramas. All along your walk, chamois, marmots, bearded vultures, eagles will follow you in the silence of these wild spaces.


 


Dates and prices

Departures

Every day from mid-June to the end of September (according to availabilities and snow covering).

Booking from 2 people (solitary traveller: consult us).

 

From 15/06/2021 to 30/09/2021 :

 

Prices price in shared dormitory :

 

Price per person for a group of 2 persons

540€

Price per person for a group of 3 persons

500€

Price per person for a group of 4 persons

480€

Price per person for a group of 5 persons

470€

Price per person for a group of 6 persons

460€

 

Prices in private room :

 

Price per person for a group of 2 persons

640€

Price per person for a group of 3 persons

600€

Price per person for a group of 4 persons

580€

Price per person for a group of 5 persons

570€

Price per person for a group of 6 persons

560€

 

Extras :

- Extra for a single room : 80€/pers

- Extra night in Cauterets in half board dormitory : 45€/pers

- Extra night in Cauterets in half board double room : 50€/pers

- Extra night in Cauterets in half board single room : 60€/pers

- Extra night in Gavarnie in half board dormitory : 45€/pers

- Extra night in Gavarnie in half board double room : 72€/pers

- Extra night in Gavarnie in half board single room : 90€/pers


The price includes

- Half-board accommodation

- Transfers days 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7

- Luggage transfers

- Dossier containing maps, route notes (1 for 4 persons, given in 1st accommodation)

- GPS tracks if you ask us + access to the detailed itinerary on the Mhikes GPS mobile application


The price does not include

- Holiday and travel insurance

- 10€ for booking fees

- Additional transfers

- Drinks and picnics

 

Day 1 : Start of your holiday in Cauterets

Beginning of your stay in Cauterets.  Situated at 950m altitude, Cauterets has an authentic, Pyrenean mountain charm and is well known for its thermal spas. Time to discover and enjoy the town. It is also possible to go hiking.

The Turon des Oules and the plateau du Lisey

Hiking in a forest environment, to Turon des Oules, from where you will overlook the resort of Cauterets, or to the Lisey plateau, a glacial valley with the possibility of continuing to the pass that promises you a magnificent panorama. Night in Cauterets. Distance : 8km or 10km, duration : 3h15 or 4h, altitude gain : +570m or +730m, descent : -570m or -730m.

Day 2 : Gaube Valley and Vignemale Massif (3298m) from the Pont d'Espagne

At 8am short transfer to the Pont d’Espagne. Discover the sumptuous Gaube valley and its mountain lake nestled in the heart of landscapes of great purity. After the Gaube lake, an easy itinerary will lead you to the Oulettes de Gaube site with its guarded refuge, at the foot of the imposing and magnificent north face of Vignemale (3298m). Return by the same itinerary to the Pont d'Espagne : possibility of returning to Cauterets by hiking along the Chemin des Cascades or by public shuttle. Night in Cauterets. Distance : 24km, duration : 7h30, altitude gain : +800m, descent : -1305m (Return to Cauterets by hiking from the Pont d'Espagne). OR Distance : 16,5km, duration : 5h45, altitude gain : +700m, descent : -700m (Return to Cauterets by public shuttle from the Pont d'Espagne).

Day 3: Marcadau Valley, Embarrat, Pourtet and Nère lakes from the Pont d'Espagne

At 8am short transfer to the Pont d’Espagne. Still in the heart of the Pyrenees National Park, this hike takes you to the neighbouring Gaube valley : the Marcadau valley. A superb loop itinerary will allow you to discover many beautiful turquoise lakes at an altitude of more than 2400m: Embarrat, Pourtet, Nère lakes... Then you will descend towards the Wallon guarded refuge on the banks of the Gave du Marcadau, which you will have to follow until you reach the Pont d'Espagne through forests and waterfalls. At 5pm, return to Cauterets by public shuttle. Night in Cauterets. Distance : 20km, duration : 6h45, altitude gain : +985m, descent : -985m.

 

Day 4 : From Cauterets to Luz Saint Sauveur

From Cauterets, the walk will lead you to Luz-Saint-Sauveur, another well known thermal spa spot by taking the mythical "GR 10-Transpyrenean" via the Riou pass, which separates the valleys of Cauterets and Luz. From the pass the panorama is immense : the Barèges valley, the Néouvielle massif, the Cirque de Troumouse and at your feet, the Luz Ardiden ski resort. On the slopes of Cauterets, you can see the Cirque du Lys, the Pic Cabaliros and the nearby peaks of the Marcadau valley. Night in Luz Saint Sauveur. Distance : 22km, duration : 7h30, altitude gain : +1190m, descent : -1410m (room version) OR Distance : 25km, duration : 8h00, altitude gain : +1235m, descent : -1470m (shared dormitory version).

Day 5 : From Lac des Gloriettes to Gavarnie

At 8am, transfer from Luz St Sauveur to Lac des Gloriettes. Starting from the great lake of Les Gloriettes and its dam, you go up the Estaubé valley to its Cirque, in the heart of high altitude lawns inhabited by marmots and numerous herds. By the superb belvedere of the Hourquette d'Alans (2430m), descend into the Gavarnie valley without tiring of admiring landscapes of incomparable mineral purity. In good weather, it is possible to climb the Piméné (2801m) from La Hourquette d'Alans. One of the most beautiful views of the Pyrenees from the summit ! Night in Gavarnie. In bad weather or at the beginning of the season (if late snow on the route), a variant is possible. Distance : 14,5km, duration : 5h30, altitude gain : +760m, descent : -1055m OR Distance : 19,5km, duration : 7h30, altitude gain : +1210m, descent : -1500m (Piméné variant) OR Distance : 13km, duration : 4h, altitude gain : +345m, descent : -635m (bad weather or late snow variant)

Day 6 : Pic des Tentes, Gavarnie and its great waterfall

At 8am, short transfer from Gavarnie to the Col des Tentes. From the Col des Tentes, you have the possibility to climb two fantastic belvederes on the Gavarnie Cirque (in a round trip) : Le Pic des Tentes (2322m) and Le Pic de Pahule (2292m). Back to the Col, the route descends towards the heart of the circus via the Port of Boucharo on the French-Spanish border, the Pouey Aspé valley and the Bellevue plateau, allowing you to admire the wall of the Gavarnie Cirque in all its mineral immensity, an amazing and impressive limestone amphitheatre known worldwide. Finally, a short round trip to the foot of the Gavarnie waterfall, one of the highest in Europe (423m), will magnificently conclude your hike. Night in Gavarnie. Distance : 20km, duration : 6h30, altitude gain : +645m, descent : -1475m (with ascent of Pic des Tentes et Pic de Pahule) OR Distance : 15,5km, duration : 5h, altitude gain : +475m, descent : -1300m.

Day 7: From Gavarnie to Pierrefitte-Nestalas (or Cauterets)

Enjoy your last moments in this high place of Pyreneism, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

At 11:30 am, transfer back from Gavarnie to Pierrefitte-Nestalas station and end of your stay. From Pierrefitte-Nestalas, SNCF bus to Lourdes station. It is also possible to arrange a return transfer to Cauterets (without supplement), especially if you have left your car there.

 

 

This programme is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere to. It may be necessary, if situations arise that are beyond our control, for the itinerary to be modified.


Welcome

Day 1 at your accommodation in Cauterets (65), according to your time of arrival.


Dispersion

: Day 7, around 12:15 pm at Pierrefitte-Nestalas bus station (65) or around 12:30 pm in Cauterets (65).


Level

Nature of the walk

The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky. Walks on mostly waymarked paths. Some technical difficulties are possible.

 

Level 3

For hikers who already have experience in mountain hiking, in good physical condition and with a good level of endurance. The walking times mentioned are given as an indication, they are average times that only take into account the duration of the actual walking without counting the break times. Depending on the weather conditions, the walking pace can also vary, ranging from +400m to +500m of climb per hour.


Accommodation

Half board accommodation with 2 versions : dormitories or rooms

Dormitory version :

- 6 nights in a cottage in small dormitories with a maximum of 8 persons. Bring a sack sheet (blankets provided).

Room version :

- 3 nights in room in gite on days 1, 2 and 3.

- 3 nights in room in hotel** on days 4, 5 and 6.

 

- Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam)

- Evening meals in accommodations, often based on local specialities, include a starter, a main course and a dessert.

- Picnics and drinks are not included. Picnics can be provided by all accommodation.


Carrying luggage

You will need to carry a day sack only, with your water bottle, camera, picnic and goretex jacket. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks. Your main luggage will be transported by vehicle between the different night stops. We ask you to please limit your main luggage to between 10-12kg to facilitate the transportation and carrying for the taxis.


Guide

Self-guided walking, without guide.

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